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Denon Reference AVR-5308CI 7.1 Channel A/V Reciever Preview  Print E-mail
Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers
Written by Michael Palmer   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Denon's 7.1 channel, THX Ultra2 certified AVR-5308CI(A) is the flagship in the company lineup.  It has won awards from Bestcovery, Audioholics, Home Theater, and ExC!te.  It features 6 HDMI 1.3a inputs along with roughly one trillion analogue inputs (RCA and BNC), and WiFi connectivity, but at this price range is far from future proof so smart shoppers may want to hold off if he or she cares about 3D capability or modern height-channel surround formats.  Like it's newer, less expensive siblings, the 5308CI(A) comes in black, and the front inputs and most of the buttons are hidden behind a large front flap which leaves the overall appearance minimalistic and clean.

The equal power amp designs features 7 discrete power amp circuits, and each channel is rated at 150 watts (8 ohms, 20Hz to 20 kHz, .05% THD), a 10-watt per channel gain over the 4311ci.  The amplifier section also features the ability to biamp speakers as well as run parallel surround channels (for a 9.1 system, with 2 speakers on the side, though they are not discrete).

The AVR-5308CI(A) has 6 HDMI 1.3a inputs and is not built for 3D pass through. There are also five RGB component inputs (capable of up to 1080i), one BNC component input, eight S-Video inputs, eight RCA composite inputs, four coaxial digital inputs, four optical digital inputs and at least ten stereo RCA inputs.  I personally can't see anyone who can afford such a piece of machinery actually utilizing this many older, analog SD video inputs, but in the last two years since this model's original debut (the 5308CI minus the "A"), the number of useless inputs have been dropping.  Perhaps when whatever model replaces this one, Denon engineers will save some space on the unit's large behind.  iPod owners can connect via an optional iPod docking station such as the ASD-11R for around a hundred bucks.  

Handling all the video from the many analog and digital inputs is the top-performing Realta HQV video processor / scaler which will upconvert and deinterlace all signals to a native 1080p (24fps or 60fps) resolution.

In the category of audio and surround sound, AVR-5308CI(A) features Denon's legendary D.D.S.C.HD surround sound decoding, employing no less than 3 high speed DSP processors along with precision Burr-Brown DACs in differential mode on all output channels.  It also has HD Radio, is Sirius Radio Ready, and decodes all the modern codecs with ease.  On the Dolby side of the fence, there is TrueHD, Digital Plus, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Headphone, and Pro Logic IIx.  DTS capabilities include HD Master Audio, ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1, Neo:6, and 96/24.  It also comes with THX post processing, THX Ultra2 7.1 Cinema, Music, and Game Modes, and THX Surround EX Decoding.

The AVR-4311ci is also a Network Ready receiver and will connect to most broadband home networks via the RJ-45 LAN connection or wirelessly through WiFi.  Not only can users connect directly to internet radio via Pandora or subscription music services such as Rhapsody and Napster, but they can also connect to any DLNA-compatible multi-media home PC to share music and photos.  Photo viewing via photo sharing websites such as Flickr is also available.

The Denon AVR-5308CI(A) is an impressive, award-winning high-end audio/video receiver, but for $5,500 online and in local retailers, it has an unnecessary number of analog inputs and is running 2008 technology.

Specifications

Compatible Video Signals: 480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p

Additional Features:
(2) RS-232 port, IR Serial Remote in/out, LAN (RJ-45) input, USB input, WiFi

Audio Features: Auto Setup Calibration, Auto/Manual Room Equalization, HD Radio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and EX, Dolby Volume, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS-HD MA, DTS ES Discrete / Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo:6, DTS 96.24, THX post processing, THX Ultra2 7.1 Cinema, Music, and Game Modes, THX Surround EX Decoding

Video Features:
HDMI 1.3a compliant inputs (6), Realta HQV video processor

Approximate Size: 17.1" W x 8.5" H x 19.25 " D

Weight:  62.7 lbs

 






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